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Notes for

Daniel Chapter Six

1. Deuteronomy 28:13-14 God's promise to the righteous

And the LORD shall make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath, if [so be] that you hearken to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day, to observe and to do them: and you shall not go aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

There was a new ruler of the world, but Daniel is still in charge. This is not the first time that his unique "spirit" or character has been noticed.

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2. Matthew 5:44-48 This is the real perfection

But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

For if you love them which love you, what reward have you? do not even the publicans [the tax gatherers] the same? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more than others? do not even the publicans so?

Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

The others were jealous of an outsider, even though he was now about 80 years old. They hated him because of his perfection.

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2a. Daniel's position was not an enviable one. He stood at the head of a dishonest, prevaricating, godless cabinet, whose members watched him with keen, jealous eyes, to find some flaw in his conduct. They kept spies on his track, to see if they could not in this way find something against him. Satan suggested to these men a plan whereby they might get rid of Daniel. Use his religion as a means of condemning him, the enemy said.

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3. Matthew 22:17-22 The simple answer to an unlawful law

Tell us therefore, What think You? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt you Me, you hypocrites? Show me the tribute money. And they brought to Him a penny. And He said to them, Whose is this image and superscription?

They said to Him, Caesar's. Then says He to them, Render therefore to Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's.

When they had heard these words, they marvelled [or were confounded], and left Him, and went their way.

Daniel's opposers used flattery to obtain their end because they knew that Medes could be persuaded to interfere in matters of religion. But Persians had much greater religious tolerance. See Vol. 2 of this series. This was another "unlawful" religious law. However, under Medo-Persian system not even the king could alter it once it was signed and its effects became apparent. Only God could find a way out from this dilemma.

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4. Psalm 55:16-19 "three times" = 3rd, 6th and 9th hours counted from sunrise

As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice. He has delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with [or against] me. God shall hear, and afflict them, even He that abides [or exists] of old. Selah.

The prophet's enemies counted on Daniel's firm adherence to principle for the success of their plan. And they were not mistaken in their estimate of his character. He quickly read their malignant purpose in framing the decree, but he did not change his course in a single particular. Why should he cease to pray now, when he most needed to pray? Rather would he give up life itself, than his hope of help in God. With calmness he performed his duties as chief of the princes; and at the hour of prayer he went to his chamber, and with his windows open toward Jerusalem, in accordance with his usual custom, he offered his petition to the God of heaven. He did not try to conceal his act. Although he knew full well the consequences of his fidelity to God, his spirit faltered not. Before those who were plotting his ruin, he would not allow it even to appear that his connection with Heaven was severed.

In all cases where the king had a right to command, Daniel would obey; but neither the king nor his decree could make him swerve from allegiance to the King of kings.

Thus the prophet boldly yet quietly and humbly declared that no earthly power has a right to interpose between the soul and God. Surrounded by idolaters, he was a faithful witness to this truth. His dauntless adherence to right was a bright light in the moral darkness of that heathen court. Daniel stands before the world today a worthy example of Christian fearlessness and fidelity.

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5. Psalm 137:1-4 The attitude at the beginning of the captivity

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yes, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land?

But in the times between, under God's instruction the Israelites had settled down and prospered and it had nearly been forgotten that they were slaves. Now the new officials saw Daniel as a foreigner, "of the captivity", a slave, yet he was next in charge to the king. They wanted him to be seen as a traitor.

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6. Acts 3:13-18 Peter spoke to the Jews of his time and said,

The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Son Jesus; whom you delivered up, and denied Him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted to you; and killed the Prince of life, whom God has raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

And His name [or character] through faith in His name has made this man strong, whom you see and know: yes, the faith which is by Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. And now, brethren, I know that through ignorance you did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, He has so fulfilled.

Darius had not realised the implications of what he had signed. He now "laboured" with Daniel and his accusers to try and set matters right. The same attitude may well come in the future from some officials when religious laws shall again come into existence at the request of a few, but the solution will not be from men at that time either.

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7. Isaiah 41:10-13 In religious strife, God says, I will help you

Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against you shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with you shall perish. You shall seek them, and shall not find them, even them that contended with you: they that war against you shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the LORD your God will hold your right hand, saying to you, Fear not; I will help you.

God did not prevent Daniel's enemies from casting him into the lions' den; He permitted evil angels and wicked men thus far to accomplish their purpose; but it was that He might make the deliverance of His servant more marked, and the defeat of the enemies of truth and righteousness more complete. The psalmist has testified"Surely the wrath of man shall praise You" (Psalm 76:10). Through the courage of this one man who chose to follow right rather than policy, Satan was to be defeated, and the name of God was to be exalted and honoured.

Darius had as much faith in the living God as Daniel. Where had he got it? From his friendship with Daniel.

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8. Hebrews 11:32-40 Obedience through faith is the key to protection.

And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephtha; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yes, moreover of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

From the story of Daniel's deliverance we may learn that in seasons of trial and gloom God's children should be just what they were when their prospects were bright with hope and their surroundings all that they could desire. Daniel in the lions' den was the same Daniel who stood before the king as chief among the ministers of state and as a prophet of the Most High. A man whose heart is stayed upon God will be the same in the hour of his greatest trial as he is in prosperity, when the light and favour of God and of man beam upon him. Faith reaches to the unseen, and grasps eternal realities.

Heaven is very near those who suffer for righteousness' sake. Christ identifies His interests with the interests of His faithful people; He suffers in the person of His saints, and whoever touches His chosen ones touches Him. We need to learn that the power that is near to deliver from physical harm or distress is also near to save from the greater evil, making it possible for the servant of God to maintain his or her integrity under all circumstances, and to triumph through divine grace.

It was right and proper for Daniel to disobey the law signed by Darius because neither the monarch nor the kingdom had any rights whatsoever in the sphere of religion. Therefore, the law concerning worship had no legal standing. Daniel was not a rebel, he just ignored that which had no jurisdiction over him.

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9. James 2:14-18 Daniel "believed"- belief is the action of an enlightened reason

What does it profit, my brethren, though a man say he has faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say to them, Depart in peace, be you warmed and filled; notwithstanding you give them not those things which are needful to the body; what does it profit? Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone. Yes, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

Darius could now set Daniel free legally, even in Medo-Persian law, for the decree had only said, "be cast into", not necessarily be put to death.

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10. Deuteronomy 19:16-21 The real place of "an eye for an eye" (No more - no less)

If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong; then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; and the judges shall make diligent inquisition.

And, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and has testified falsely against his brother; then shall you do to him, as he had thought to have done to his brother: so shall you put the evil away from among you. And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you. And your eye shall not pity [or change the decree]; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

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11. John 1:29 A lamb does not fight

The next day John sees Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.

This kind of law, even though it points to the living God, is just as bad as one that commands worship of a false god because the true religion never uses force. Compare the animals of the following pages with the LAMB of God.

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12. Cyrus took over the kingdom in 536BC, when Darius died two years later .

The experience of Daniel as a politician in the kingdoms of Babylon and Medo-Persia reveals the truth that a Christian business man is not necessarily a scheming man, but that he too may be instructed by God at every step and act in righteousness. Daniel did not choose the job, for it is no business of a Christian to interfere in the affairs of men unless especially directed by God. It was thrust upon him by Nebuchadnezzar, but while in it he performed with all the faithfulness he could. However, he, the prime minister of the greatest of earthly kingdoms, was at the same time a prophet of God, receiving the light of heavenly inspiration. He too, was man of "like passion" as ourselves yet "without fault" because he followed the simple rule of keeping church and state entirely separate.

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